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Postconciliar Reform of the Dominican Rite Liturgy: 1962‑1969 Augustine Thompson, O.P. This article continues the history of the reforms of the liturgy of the Dominican Order during the 1950s. It covers the period of Vatican II untill the Order’s adoption of the Roman Rite in 1969. With the publication of the new Dominican Breviary and the Calendar of 1962, projects to reform the liturgy began to change. With the exception of the reformed Easter Vigil, the reforms of the 1950s had been relatively minor affairs. Even the calendar reforms were noticeable principally to priests, not the casual layperson at Mass. As changes increased in quantity and importance during the early 1960s, expectation that major changes were in the offing began to spread and, in liturgically conscious circles, proposals for greater simplifications became common. Friars assembled at the General Chapter of Bologna in September 1961 had produced a set of petitions for communication to the Congregation of Rites. Mostly these dealt with the distinctive aspects of the Dominican Solemn Mass. Proposed changes included having the Gospel read from the pulpit facing the people, instead of toward “liturgical north” (the left side of the sanctuary). They asked that the unfolding of the corporal during the Epistle be abolished and that the rite for incensing the friars be simplified. For Low Mass, they petitioned that the “Prayers at the Foot of the Altar” be said in a voice loud enough for the congregation to hear. Permission was sought also to write new prefaces (the rite at this time had only 16) and for dropping the Preces at all hours except lauds and vespers.1 An Extraordinary General Chapter was held the next year at Toulouse in preparation for the Second Vatican 1 Acta Capituli generalis provincialium s. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Bononiae (18‑24 Sept. 1961) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1961), n. 153‑58, 165‑173. Antiphon 15.3 (2011): 299-316 300 Augustine Thompson, O.P. Council.2 It passed little legislation on liturgy but heard reports on reform of the Missal.3 Changes in the posture of friars in choir during Office did not require petitions to the Congregation of Rites as changes in the rite itself did, and, as requested by the General Chapter, new norms were promulgated at the beginning of 1963.4 These were extensive. The complex rules for raising and lowering the capuce at Mass and Office were reduced to raising it only when sitting. Abolished as well were the repeated uncoverings of the head at the Holy Names and at various verses in the Gloria, a practice that had paralleled the tipping of the biretta by secular priests. The profound bows at the names of Mary and Dominic became head‑bows, and the (admittedly late-medieval) head‑bow at the mention of the Precious Blood disappeared entirely; bows by the choir at the blessing of the reader were gone. The rubrics did, however, preserve the bow at the Gloria Patri during the psalms and during collects up to qui vivit in the doxology. Bowing for the Confiteor at prime and compline was replaced by kneeling, which was considered more “penitential.” At Mass, the ancient system of bows and prostrations on the forms by the friars in choir was replaced by standing facing the altar, sitting, and kneeling, the same rubrics already used by laypeople at High Mass. This had the effect of introducing kneeling during the Canon and erased the need to prostrate for the consecration. The elaborate medieval use of the body in prayer, so typical of medieval Dominican devotional works like The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic, was now gone.5 Finally, rubrics for conventual Low Mass were codified on the Roman model, and “dialogue format” became the norm. 2 Acta Capituli generalis electivi sacri Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum: Tolosae, in conventu s. Thomae Aquinatis, a die 22 ad diem 29 iulii 1962 (Romae: S. Sabinae, 1962). 3 This originated with the commission to prepare a replacement for the 1933 Missal: Acta Capituli generalis electivi s. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Romae (11‑17 Apr. 1955) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1955), n. 90; whose tasks were later expanded: Acta Capituli generalis diffinitorum s. Ordinis FF...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-9933
Print ISSN
1543-9925
Pages
pp. 299-316
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-24
Open Access
No
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